Pollution

Carmaker Porsche challenges London gas guzzler tax
February 19, 2008 06:49 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Luxury carmaker Porsche may legally challenge London mayor Ken Livingstone's decision to tax gas guzzling cars driving in the city centre to help fight global warming. Porsche said on Tuesday the 25 pound ($48.74) daily charge was unfair, would not cut emissions of climate warming carbon dioxide and would deter businesses from moving to the city.

Crop biofuels 'create carbon debt'
February 18, 2008 09:17 AM - , SciDevNet

Two studies have shown that changes in land use to produce crop-based biofuels can actually result in more greenhouse-gas emissions than burning fossil fuels. The studies, both published in Science last week (8 February), estimate the impact of converting forests and grasslands into cropland for the production of biofuels.

Coalition against coal fires up in Greece
February 18, 2008 09:01 AM - WWF

WWF-Greece and seven municipalities are joining forces to oppose several coal-fired power plant projects, on the grounds they will cause large increases of greenhouse gas emissions and cause local pollution problems. “This coalition against coal aims to promote the principles of sustainable energy”, said Achilleas Plitharas, WWF-Geece’s Environmental Policy Campaigner.

Saudi, Norway back carbon capture for CDM: paper
February 18, 2008 06:33 AM - Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) - Oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Norway will cooperate to get carbon capture and storage (CCS) -- burying greenhouse gases -- recognized as a way for rich countries to offset their emissions, a Norwegian daily reported. CCS involves trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial processes, such as power generation from fossil fuels, and storing it underground or below the seabed. The technology is still in a pioneering phase and is not yet commercial.

Beijing orders tighter emission rules on cars
February 15, 2008 10:34 PM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing will ban sales of new cars that fail to meet new emission standards starting from March, state news agency Xinhua said on Saturday, in another move to clean up its air before the August Olympic Games. All new cars are required to meet the new national standards that are equivalent to Euro IV standards, Xinhua said, citing Du Shaozhong, deputy director of the city's Environment Protection Bureau.

Investors pledge $10 billion for renewable energy
February 15, 2008 09:42 AM - Reuters

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. institutional investors pledged at a U.N. summit on Thursday to invest $10 billion over two years in technologies that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to pressure companies to disclose their risks associated with climate change. The plan "reflects the many investment opportunities that exist today to put a dent in global warming pollution, build profits and benefit the global economy," said Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmental leaders, and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk.

Energy taxes in Italy seen falling as CO2 rises
February 15, 2008 09:41 AM - Reuters

ROME (Reuters) - Taxes on energy in Italy have fallen by almost a quarter in the last decade while greenhouse gas emissions have soared, environmental group Legambiente said on Friday, calling for greater action against climate change. In its annual report on the state of the environment, Italy's leading green group said successive Italian governments had failed to discourage growing energy consumption or encourage renewable power such as wind and solar.

U.S. moving toward ban on new coal-fired power plants
February 15, 2008 09:39 AM - Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute

In a report compiled in early 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy listed 151 coal-fired power plants in the planning stages and talked about a resurgence in coal-fired electricity. But during 2007, 59 proposed U.S. coal-fired power plants were either refused licenses by state governments or quietly abandoned. In addition to the 59 plants that were dropped, close to 50 more coal plants are being contested in the courts, and the remaining plants will likely be challenged as they reach the permitting stage.

“Green Economics”: Turning Mainstream Thinking on Its Head
February 15, 2008 09:28 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

A few years ago, a homeowner in Las Vegas—a place that gets maybe five inches of rainfall a year—was confronted by a water district inspector for running an illegal sprinkler in the middle of the day. The man became very angry. He said, “You people and all your stupid rules—you’re trying to turn this place into a desert!” Ideas about how the world works that don’t accord with reality can be unhelpful. That’s especially true about mainstream economics, which is based in part on ideas that made a lot of sense at some point in the last 250 years but that have outlived their time and usefulness.

Beijing to clean up gas stations before Olympics
February 15, 2008 06:44 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing plans to shut down 144 petrol stations by the end of May, about 10 percent of the city's total, to help clean up its air before the August Olympic games, state media reported on Friday. These gas stations, and nine oil depots, are mostly owned by China's state oil major Sinopec and by CNPC, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the city's environmental authority.

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